Searching for the True Gesture – Joshua Boettiger

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In my family, we wave till everyone is out of sight.
We keep waving, even when we can no longer see
each other, far around the bend. It is hard for others
to understand. Why are you still waving?

The old rabbi’s legs no longer work so well.
He sits in the lift chair and is lowered into the pool.
He waves at a man with beautiful black curls,
who wades into the pool to meet him, takes him
by the waist. They begin waltzing in the shallow end,
singing show-tunes, their baritones echoing
in the blue, clean corners.

The guy the children call Suntan Man stands proud
under the First Bank clock everyday, his shirt off,
waving at each car. I see you. And you, I see you.

As the ferry is leaving the island, sliding away,
my parents are on the dock. My father waves slowly,
large arcs across the sky, like he is helping a plane land.
My mother holds both arms skyward and still.

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